Boatwif Blog

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Are you SURE you want to do this?

Thanksgiving in Southern California was marked by rain, rain and more rain, by the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, televised across the nation from New York,        and then by a blow-out lunch. Gradually the rain lightened to short, sharp showers. By the afternoon of Black Friday pent-up energy needed to be spent… “Are you SURE you want to do this?” Cal Son asked as he outlined the options. “Peace and quiet at home for a couple of hours...

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Miscellany  

These  Thanksgiving trips to far south California encompass school runs and retail opportunities, leisure jaunts and visits to favourite haunts. There’s  childcare too, although it has to be acknowledged that the older two children now exceed Boatwif’s height by a fair margin – see photographic evidence at the end of the previous post. There was a soccer match to watch on Saturday on an arena pitch (plastic turf enclosed by a concrete wall and high netting). Cal Guy Jnr plays...

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Have you ever seen the Queen?

This week in Southern California it’s been a school week, though next week schools, colleges and the local university will be shut for Thanksgiving Break. Morning departures from home are staggered: Cal Gal leaves first at 0700 to walk to her middle school; Cal Guy Snr gets on his bike at about 0730 to cycle to high school (though it’s a later start on Tuesdays) and Cal Guy Jnr needs to be driven to his elementary school, to arrive between...

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Hurdling through November

After the October trip to Scotland there was the pear harvest to attend to: The pears added a certain piquancy to a pork-based dish, became rather tasty chutney and provided a base for a vodka and vanilla spirit (yet to be tasted).     Then there was a trip north to check that the boat was afloat (which it was) and dry inside (it was).    On that same trip north there was an informal concert  played by the Cheshire One...

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Sea, Sheep and Space

Sea, sheep and space – after a few days on and around the Black Isle those are the abiding impressions. Just where is the Black Isle? It’s in the north east of Scotland, a twenty mile long peninsula, surrounded by sea on three sides –the Cromarty Firth to the north, the Beauly Firth to the south, and the Moray Firth to the east. The sea is ever present: pop off the Black Isle, say to Dingwall (nearest supermarket) and you join the A9...

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Last Flings

Congleton Wharf to Higher Poynton: 18⅓ miles, 12 locks, 2 swing bridges Tuesday was a damp and dismal day in Congleton. Down in the town a new sculpture, a 2017 installation,  was spotted.    By late afternoon four other boats had moored behind Cleddau at Congleton Wharf,  all facing towards Bosley – all waiting maybe for an upward passage… Cleddau crept out of Congleton on Wednesday morning. Just before Biddulph Aqueduct comes the first chance of a glimpse of The...

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Cliffhanging

Red Bull Aqueduct to Congleton Wharf: 4 miles, 1 lock ‘Since Cleddau could not have reached Lock 11 before nightfall it’s back to thinking about alternatives again…’ Those were the last words on the previous post, referring to the email update from Canal and River Trust late on Thursday afternoon. So what were the alternatives? Turn round, head off the Macclesfield Canal, travel through the Harecastle Tunnel (photo July 19)    and book into a different marina for the winter...

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What’s the alternative?

Anderton to Red Bull Aqueduct: 24¼  miles, 35 locks Back in the day… (What a tiresome phrase that is. Start again, Boatwif) Decades ago, indeed almost half a century ago, the Captain was required to do a great deal of flight planning. There are memories of vast paper maps being rearranged over a table or floor space, of a huge ruler and an array of chinagraph pencils. There was always an emphasis on plotting diversions, not alternative dubious entertainments but alternative airfields...

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Moorings ‘with attitude’

Weaver Navigation: Marsh Lock – Winsford – Anderton: 25¼ miles, 6 lock passages Cleddau and crew had spent the better part of two days and a night tied up to the pontoon at Weston Marsh Lock. Blinds and curtains drawn it was easy to ignore the bright security night lighting around the chemical works on the opposite bank – and to enjoy the sense of space from being so close to the wide Manchester Ship Canal and the even wider...

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Chance Timings

Anderton to West Marsh Lock via Northwich: 15 miles,  2 locks So here goes, about to descend 50 feet from the canal to the River Weaver… On arriving at Anderton Boat Lift (it was about 1245 on Sunday) Boatwif dived downstairs in the Visitor Centre to book a passage on the Lift. Short of staff, there was no human voice accessible by phone so a booking in person needed to be made. Confident of the booking procedure Boatwif pressed the...